International Virtual Aviation Organisation

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IVAO(International Virtual Aviation Organization)
Abbreviation IVAO VZW
Motto "As Real As It Gets"
Formation December 1998
Type Non-Profit Association[1]
Purpose Provide an environment for a realistic Flight and Air Traffic Control simulation via the internet
166,000+ (25,800 active)[2]
Eric J. Olson (2014 - Nov 2015)
Main organ
General Assembly

IVAO VZW or International Virtual Aviation Organisation VZW,[3] is a free-of-charge online flight-simulation network.[4] Following free registration users can connect to the IVAO Network (IVAN) either as a virtual air traffic controller or as a virtual pilot and engage and interact with each other in a massively multiplayer environment utilising real-world aviation procedures, phraseology and techniques.[5]


IVAO, with more than 168,800 registered members as of January 2015 (25,600 of which active in the last three months),[2] is one of the two largest online flight simulation networks that allow users to act either as a virtual pilot or ATC.[6] IVAO relies solely on software developed by its own staff of volunteers. Air Traffic Controllers can connect to the IVAO network using IVAO's radar client, IvAc, that emulates the interface of a modern, real-world air traffic control radar scope. Pilots can connect using their flight simulator and the built-in pilot client, IvAp. All pilots and ATC thereby interact on a dedicated, one-world server environment that tries to simulate world-wide air traffic on an "as real as it gets" basis. While the greatest part of IVAO's active membership is based on Europe, VATSIM's membership mainly focuses around North America & UK.

IVAO logs all flight and controlling hours and offers its members to obtain virtual pilot and ATC ranks by undergoing training and passing theoretical and practical exams based around real-world aviation regulations and procedures. A fully integrated VA system offers Virtual Airlines the ability to operate on the IVAO Network even with fictional airline callsigns and liveries. Events and regular gatherings are organized on a daily basis. With approximately 8000 connections per day and an average weekday peak between 600 and 900 simultaneous connections, IVAO reached its current simultaneous connection record during the annual "Crowded Skies" event on December 13, 2014, with 2,530 members flying or controlling at the same time.[7]


The first steps for setting up flight simulation in a massively-multiplayer online environment were taken with the creation of SquawkBox and ProController in the mid-1990s. These two programs were connected to FSD, a simple flight simulator multiplayer server, which allowed to evolve from a one-to-one (one ATC and one plane) environment to a many-to-many environment.

Using these programs, SATCO (now VATSIM) was the first large network to create an online air traffic simulation environment. On December 16, 1998 IVAO was founded when a group of people left SATCO to form a new network after management conflicts developed within the organization.[8] In late 2005, another management conflict, this time within the IVAO organization, led to another split. The incumbent president of IVAO continued with, while other members of management continued the organization under[9] In 2007 IVAO officially registered as a non-profit organization under Belgian law.[10]

IVAO also took part in Flight SimCon 2013, held in Hartford, Connecticut.[11]


  1. ^ "Articles of the Association". IVAO. Retrieved August 24, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b " Member List". IVAO Public Relations Department. Retrieved January 18, 2015. 
  3. ^ Maxime Esnau (2012). IVAO Public Relations Department. IVAO Public Relations Department. p. 100. ISBN 3-8370-5969-3. 
  4. ^ " MiVssion Statement" (Press release). IVAO Public Relations Department. November 24, 2012. Retrieved November 24, 2012. 
  5. ^ Jeff Van West (2007). Microsoft Flight Simulator X For Pilots: Real World Training. John Wiley and Sons. p. 677. ISBN 978-0-470-18331-1. 
  6. ^ "Bust stress, conquer sky – the virtual way". July 20, 2010. Retrieved August 24, 2011. the International Virtual Aviation Organisation, the biggest community of virtual flyers and air traffic controllers 
  7. ^ "IVAO – Crowded Skies". IVAO. Retrieved August 24, 2011. 
  8. ^ Daniel Terdiman (December 16, 2006). "Into the wild blue virtual yonder". CNET Retrieved August 24, 2011. It formed in 2001 when internal politics in a precursor network, SATCO, caused a rupture that resulted in two rival networks 
  9. ^ "Why". IVAO. December 2, 2005. Retrieved August 24, 2011. 
  10. ^ "International Virtual Aviation Organisation" (PDF). Belgian National Paper. April 18, 2007. Retrieved July 18, 2013. 
  11. ^

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